In the ongoing separation-of-powers fight, President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny congressional requests to hear testimony from two former aides. Former White House counsel Harriet Miers and political director Sara Taylor are available to speak about the firings of federal prosecutors only in private, off-the-record interviews, the White House said.

US diplomats hope to start discussions with North Korea on a formal peace treaty by the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Since 1953, a truce has prevailed on the Korean peninsula, but new progress in achieving North Korea's nuclear disarmament may provide the impetus for closure to the Korean War.

Museums, parks, and various Pennsylvania state services were forced to close, at least temporarily, on Monday after Gov. Ed Rendell (D) furloughed 24,000 state workers until a budget stalemate is resolved.

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan said Sunday that she will run as an independent candidate against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if the San Francisco Democrat doesn't file articles of impeachment against President Bush by July 23.

In Utah, the largest wildfire in state history grew Sunday to 283,000 acres. A forestry official said firefighters weren't able to make a dent in containing the blaze as it raced across dry sagebrush The Utah fire was one of dozens burning across the West.

Racial discrimination is not an "ancient artifact" in America, where almost a quarter of blacks live in poverty compared with only 8.6 percent whites, Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, said Sunday in opening the group's annual convention Sunday in Detroit.

With much fanfare, Boeing Co. unveiled its first fully assembled 787 Dreamliner Sunday. The next-generation midsize airliner is promoted as more fuel efficient, cheaper to maintain, and more comfortable than other comparable planes. In-flight tests will begin in late August, with Japan's All Nippon Airways set to put the first Dreamliners into service next May.

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